Wisconsin Union Protests 2011

The protesting that has been happening in Wisconsin’s state capital, Madison, has gripped the nation.  I was in Madison this past weekend and made my way to the Capital to see what was going on.  The building was closed, but there were still crowds of people around, chanting, banging drums, and speaking out against the current Governor’s early reign of tyranny.

Below is a link to the set of photos I took.  The crowd was rather light, since I was there on a Friday– but they were just as passionate as ever.

http://rickaiello.smugmug.com/SpecialEvents/Politics/Wisconsin-Union-Protests/16113600_qHBbc

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Look before you leap

CautionAll our lives, we are told to proceed with caution.

“Watch your step.”

Even the boldest of people take a moment to summarize things before going in a new direction.  This is typical.  As human beings, we are survivors above all else.  We don’t want to do anything that puts us in jeopardy.

But when that sense of caution subsides, and we feel comfortable proceeding on our chosen paths, we should proceed with confidence.

This has not been the norm in this country as of late.

“Look both ways before crossing the street.”

Lately, I get the impression that the only thing our country does is look both ways.  We’re doing it so much it’s bordering on an obsessive-compulsive disorder.  Nobody is willing to actually step out into the street, for fear of being hit by a speeding car that they didn’t see the fiftieth time they looked to the right.

We’re one year into the new administration, and nothing has been done.  We are still waiting for health care reform.  We are still waiting for LGBT rights.  We are still waiting for the war to end in Iraq and Afghanistan.  We’re still waiting for all the promises we were given in 2008 to come true… if not all, at least SOME of them.

And now, after what happened in Massachusetts, it’s becoming obvious that people are tired of waiting.

“Be careful.”

I’m a Democrat, and I’m not apologizing for it.  I was born this way, just as much as I was born male, gay, and half-Italian.  Nothing will change my beliefs, and nothing will sway me to the other side.  But this inactivity is getting tiresome.  Waiting for people to agree with your ideas and your policies is not working.  It’s time to get tough.  It’s time to get dirty.  That’s just how things roll in these United States.

If Obama and his administration can’t make that happen, we’re in for 3 more years of ridicule from the neo-cons and the far right.

And then, heaven help us in 2012.

Way to go, Joe, you Jackass!!

Way to go, Joe Lieberman.  Because of your backstabbing and your inability to make up your own puny mind, you’re now the least popular politician in the United States.  You can’t even muster up 1,000 Facebook supporters.  You might as well just admit it now… you’re a douche, and your career is over.

Don’t let the Senate doors smack your ass on the way out.

Aaaarrrrrrrggggh!! I can't take it anymore!!!

OK… OK! I have been silent long enough.

I didn’t want to make a big stink, but I just can’t help it. I have to say something, and if I don’t do it soon, I’m gonna friggin’ explode.

OK, my Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Trans, and Questioning brothers and sisters… I am talking to you.

We’re not a happy bunch right now. Any visit to the news, or to blogs, or to chatrooms, or to Facebook or Twitter will tell you that. We are an angry bunch. We want what we want, and we want it NOW!

We want Gay Marriage. We want a repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. We want a repeal of DOMA. We want Anti-Discrimination laws. We want Anti-Defamation laws. And don’t forget about Gay Marriage…

Yes, we really do want what is rightfully ours, and really, who can blame us? We’ve been an oppressed group for as long as we’ve been around. Other groups have got their rights, why can’t we?

Well yeah, I agree… and I want those rights, too. But did it ever strike you as odd that we’re demanding EVERYTHING to happen RIGHT NOW? Right now, when our country is still just barely recovering from the worst economic crisis it has seen since the Great Depression? Right now, when we are still fighting a war in Iraq and still trying to find the mastermind of 9/11? Right now, when the entire world is unstable, both economically and politically, and we are relying on our country’s leadership to ATTEMPT to keep everything together?

Did you ever think that maybe RIGHT NOW is a little TOO SOON?

I have, and I have said so and thought so since before Barack Obama got himself elected. Sure, he’s made some mistakes (that DOMA brief really did suck), but I truly have to believe, in my heart, that he wants to help us out. We just need to understand that, just like Rome was not built in a day, LGBTQ rights cannot be applied to us in 24 hours. It takes time, and it takes making the right moves and taking the right steps.

Our impatience comes from years and years of pain, sorrow and neglect, and I feel that pain, sorrow and neglect just as much as the rest of you. I understand why we are angry, and I understand why we want action. And I understand why we want to yell and scream and carry on when we feel we’ve been maligned.

But at what point will our voices blend in with the rest of the background noise? How long will ranting and raving and screaming work to get our country’s attention? And will it work at all?

I’m trying to find the answers, because I don’t know what they are. I’m just suggesting that we are going about it in the wrong way, and I’m concerned that our voices will not be heard, because those who we want to hear us are just going to plug their ears to drown out the noise.

It took this much animosity for me to break out of my blogging funk and write again… maybe it’s time we all try to do the same. Pick up the pen, or turn on your computer, and write your feelings. Send them to those who you want to hear your thoughts. Think out your grievances before airing them, and put them into context. Make them understand why you are so passionate about what you want.

Screaming will just make you hoarse. Intelligent thinking will get you heard.